A guitar nut wrap, more commonly known as a fret wrap is a simple band or wrap that helps mute the strings on a guitar.
Guitarists may like to reduce buzzing, or completely mute the open strings, if so a fret wrap is what you’ll want to use.
Fret wraps can be purchased from most music shops, however, there are many simple DIY versions that can be made or taken from everyday items.
What does a guitar fret wrap do
The purpose of a fret wrap is to mute the strings.
They are most commonly used for guitarists that want to play higher frets, with styles that may use tapping, hammer-ons or pull-offs.
Guitar wraps help by reducing unwanted noise from open strings.
Some guitarists may also put a fret wrap above the guitar nut, so as to eliminate buzzing above the nut.
Some guitars may have odd buzzing near the tuners, and this would help stop that.
Do guitar fret wraps work
Yes, a purpose made fret wrap will work to eliminate unwanted string noise, depending on where the guitarist positions the wrap on the neck.
Guitar nut wraps are very useful for some guitarists, while other may never need such a device.
Whether or not you need a fret wrap depends on your style of play and any special needs your guitar may have.
A good adjustable fret wrap should work well for many years, a DIY version may require a little more adjusting to get it just right.
Can you play open strings with a fret wrap
No, the idea of a fret wrap or a guitar nut wrap is to stop the open strings from sounding.
Typically, fret wraps are easily moved in and out of position, so a guitarist may only use it for one part of a song, and then move it out of the way (good for soloing).
If you’re using a fret wrap in order to stop buzzing from above the nut, then you should still be able to play open strings just fine.
What can I use as a fret wrap
Purpose made fret wraps can be purchased at most music stores with a good guitar section.
However, if you would like to find some alternatives or a DIY method these are also easy to find.
What size Fretwrap do I need
Most fret wraps should be adjustable and will be one size fits all.
So long as you ensure the fret wrap you buy is adjustable, it will work on all normal sizes of guitar necks.
If you see a guitar nut wrap that isn’t adjustable, skip it, there’s many more that are adjustable, for little or no extra cost.
Bass fret wrap
Bass guitars may also require a fret wrap.
For the most part these are the same as guitar nut wraps, however, they may be made from a heavier material.
It is harder to mute bass strings compared to guitar strings, so just understand that you may not work well to use your guitar fret wrap on your bass.
Fret wrap alternative
Fret wraps are reasonably cheap, and usually a long lasting purchase.
That being said, there are many ways to make your own fret wrap, or use another common household item as a substitute.
All you really need for a fret wrap is something that can loosely wrap around the neck of your guitar, and is soft so that it doesn’t damage anything.
A cult classic fret wrap is just a hair scrunchie!
Scrunchies are nearly perfect if you get one that isn’t too loose or tight, and has a lot of soft material around the elastic.
Guitar nut fret wrap DIY
Some good DIY alternatives to fret wraps:
- Neck tie
- Broken capo, modded with a soft string face
- Any long piece of fabric
Some of these will work better than others, and some may not be good long term alternatives.
However, they will all work in a pinch.
Here’s a great video of someone using a fret wrap to play arpeggios high up on the neck.
He’s using a fret wrap in order to mute the strings, so you get a clean sound, without the open strings sounding.